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How to Increase Your Ability to Focus

The art of focusThere are many things in life that require focus to complete them efficiently and on time. As much as we want to focus on something it often becomes a major effort in itself to maintain focus for any length of time. There seems to be too many other things that are crying out for our time.

So how do you Increase Focus Times and Reduce Distractions?                                                                 

Firstly Pinpoint the Problem

Ask yourself the question “Why am I losing focus?” and write down everything that comes to you.

Some Common Reasons for Distraction

  • Many people will confess to trying to multitask. They constantly switch back and forth between several tasks usually in the quest to get more done in a given amount of time. Unfortunately that adds up to being constantly distracted and results in our brain being trained to be unfocused.
  • Messy environments are also a huge distraction as we are constantly aware of things within our line of sight.
  • A lack of organisation results in things not flowing and as a result, your attention is constantly being called to keep things on track
  • Phone and social media if available regularly demand attention and we are encouraged to interact with them as doing so activates our reward centre
  • Often overlooked is not ensuring that you are eating nutritious food and drinking plenty of water. Being hungry or thirsty is a major distraction. A lack of food or water affects the ability of our body to function at its best

Addressing the Distractions

The Plan

By answering some easy questions, you will realise that creating an effective plan follows a natural process.

  • The first question to answer is “what needs to be done?” Write down everything that you need to do regarding the particular goal.
  • Now comes an important question “why should you do it?” Are you doing it because you choose to or because someone else is pressuring you? If someone else wants it done, then see if you can find a personal reason to complete the task. Having this personal reason is an important motivator.
  • Now ask yourself “how should I tackle this?” What personal qualities can you use to make doing this task seem more natural?
  • Which are the more difficult tasks to be accomplished? Once you determine what these tasks are then do them at the beginning if at all possible. Be aware that in the beginning you are most focused and experience the greatest motivation. If, however, you find there are particular times that you are more focused then keep the more difficult tasks for those times.

Make sure that when you need to be the most focused that you are not disturbed.

Food

Your body needs fuel to function efficiently.

The quality of food and drink is important if you want to easily and naturally maintain peak performance. I’m sure you are aware that there are some less healthy snack foods that while tasting good do not give the best results regarding mental and physical performance.

  • Make sure you have a decent breakfast
  • make sure you have plenty of water to drink
  • caffeine is good for a quick boost, but too much caffeine can have a detrimental effect
  • use healthy snacks as a reward for progress

Workspace

How your workspace is laid out greatly impacts your ability to focus.

  • An untidy workspace is a natural distraction. If the workspace is cluttered, we become aware of the untidiness, and that tends to demand our attention.
  • Too long at a workspace saps energy, so take short breaks
  • ensure that the desk that you’re working on and the chair meets ergonomic design so that you can experience a more relaxed work environment
  • Make sure that you can easily reach the things that you need so that you don’t have to get up or stretch out across your desk. Constantly moving to reach things breaks your focus
  • switch off your mobile phone
  • don’t engage in social media
  • make sure that the only emails you are looking at relate to the task at hand
  • suitable background music can be beneficial

Process

Finally, here are the how-to instructions

  • Break larger tasks down into smaller tasks. You will realise that it is easier to tackle some smaller tasks than one large task.
  • Set yourself a specific amount of time to work on each task. If you don’t feel compelled to do everything in one go, you will find that it comes more naturally to you and the task becomes easier.
  • it is important to reward yourself at certain completion points. Knowing there is a reward coming allows us to experience a sense of seeing beyond the current task to the reward.
  • With things that can distract you such as email, try to complete a task first before checking it
  • train your brain to respond to working to a schedule rather than being spontaneous. As you’re probably aware, being spontaneous can allow some distractions to grab your attention
  • try working on focusing for 15 minutes and then taking a two-minute break.
  • Repeat this process and slowly increase the 15 minutes towards 30 minutes.
  • The aim of this is to easily and naturally experience short periods of focus

Increasing your focus expands your ability to achieve tasks efficiently. The more that you practise it, the easier it will become and the more natural it will become. I am sure that you will realise the benefit of increased focus.

Need assistance with increasing your focus call Tracey on 07 3458 1725.

 

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